By Supriya Ramesh
New Delhi, May 28 (IANS): As India emerges as the most populated country in the world with its power corridor Delhi leading the largest political party at a time when rapid climate changes are happening across the globe, it calls for an analysis of the BJP-led Central governments environmental initiatives.
A mere decade ago, climate change was not a matter of grave concern. Considering its profound implications and the impact it has on our daily lives, it has now become a topic of widespread discussion and concern.
Over the past nine years, the BJP-led Central government has launched various schemes to address climate change. These include the Green Hydrogen Mission, GOBARdhan (Galvanising Organic Bio-Agro Resources Dhan Scheme), the Green Credit programme, MISHTI, Amrit Dharohar, and more.
In 2021, Prime Minister Narendra Modi issued a global call for Mission LiFE (Lifestyle for Environment) during India's National Statement at CoP26, held in Glasgow in October-November 2021.
Subsequently, Mission LiFE was launched on October 20, 2022, recognising the importance of transitioning to sustainable lifestyles and consumption patterns in efforts to address climate change.
Last year, the Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change launched the 'In Our LiFEtime' campaign, aimed at encouraging youth aged 18 to 23 years to become messengers of sustainable lifestyles. The campaign aimed to recognise youth from around the world who take climate action initiatives aligned with the concept of LiFE.
During his address to the nation on the occasion of the 75th Independence Day, Modi highlighted India's action on 'Mission Circular Economy' to deal with various waste. NITI Aayog constituted 11 committees to develop circular economy action plans for various waste categories.
Circular Economy Action Plans for 10 waste categories, including Lithium-ion batteries, E-waste, Toxic and hazardous industrial waste, Scrap metal (ferrous and non-ferrous), Tyre and Rubber, End of Life Vehicles, Gypsum, Used Oil, Solar Panels, and Municipal Solid Waste, have been finalised and are currently being implemented.
To control climate change and the rise in temperature, the Modi government has taken many initiatives and steps for environment conservation.
The National Clean Air Programme was launched in 2019 by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change to reduce the quantity of particulate matter in the range of PM2.5 and PM 10 particle concentrations in the atmosphere.
The ministry also launched the Green Skill Development Programme to develop green skills among people and also to provide employment to the youngsters in the environment and forest sector.
"The government has committed to get 50 per cent of its energy from renewable resources and to reduce total projected carbon emissions by one billion tonnes by the year 2030," said an official.
The government also launched a global movement ‘Lifestyle for the Environment' with a view to ensuring sustainable development.
"The movement aims to live a life which is in favour of the environment and does not harm the ecosystem and living beings. Faster Adoption and manufacturing of Hybrid & Electric vehicles in India scheme has been launched in the year 2015 to promote use of electric vehicles in order to decrease the consumption of coal, which is already implemented by fourteen states of our country," said the official.
The Bharatiya Prakritik Krishi Paddhati Programme, an initiative to promote natural farming has already been adopted by Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Kerala. Airshed Management technique has been implemented by states like Uttar Pradesh to improve the quality of air.
The Central government submitted a report to the Delhi High Court, stating that the Cabinet has approved India's updated Nationally Determined Contribution, which is a step towards achieving India's long-term goal of reaching net-zero emissions by 2070.
It was also informed to the court that the Cabinet's approval aligns with the Prime Minister's "Panchamrit" announced at COP-26 and sets enhanced climate targets, committing India to reduce the emissions intensity of its GDP by 45 percent by 2030.
The court appreciated the sincere efforts made by the Ministry to ensure the implementation of climate change measures and provide a better environment for future generations.
The government also launched its long-term low carbon development strategy at the 27th session of the Conference of Parties (COP-27) to the UNFCCC. The strategy was launched by Union Minister for Environment, Forest, and Climate Change, Bhupender Yadav, who led the Indian delegation to COP 27 from November 6-18, 2022.
The Indian government has also taken determined steps to fulfil its commitment to eliminate single-use plastics that are non-biodegradable and have an adverse impact on the environment. A ban on identified single-use plastic items has been imposed starting from July 1, 2022. The ban was notified on August 12, 2021.
To top it all, the government has introduced Prakriti: Messenger of the Earth as the mascot of sustainability and environmental protection, aiming to raise awareness among the general public.